One of the first questions many people have when it comes to planning a yacht charter in the Whitsundays is how much does it cost?
In this post, we address our fee structures, answer common questions and outline additional costs associated with a private yacht charter in the Whitsundays.
The info in this post is a guide. We encourage guests to contact our sales team to discuss their unique requirements.
Overview of private yacht charter costs
The cost of hiring a skipper yourself yacht in the Whitsundays, generally speaking, depends on the time of year, the type of boat and the duration of the charter.
Costs are determined on a nightly rate, not per head. If you are sailing as a group and splitting the hire, the average rate per person is comparable to a night in a hotel or staying at a resort (only this hotel is also your mode of transport to attractions, entertainment and kitchen).
For those looking for a quick price check, we encourage you to use our online booking system, which will give you vessel availability and prices for the dates you want to sail.
Seasons & the best value times to charter a yacht in the Whitsundays
The best time of year to sail the Whitsundays is widely considered to be from June to October. There are pros and cons to sailing during any season in the Whitsundays. Choosing when to charter depends on what you want to see around the islands and the type of sailing experience you wish to have.
Our pricing falls into peak, mid, low & holiday season categories.
At Whitsunday Rent a Yacht, our lowest rates are from mid-January to the end of March. The highest rates occur in our peak time from mid-September to October as well as over school holidays.
Duration & knowing how many nights to book
Boat hire fees are determined on a nightly basis, with the longer bookings attracting more of a nightly discount.
Minimum booking duration: The minimum amount of nights recommended for chartering a yacht is three; This is because the first day is mostly dedicated to training and travel time out to the islands. The last day of a booking is all about returning the boat to our base in the morning.
Recommended booking duration: We suggest that the optimal night for a booking is seven. Seven nights means it’s possible to immerse yourself in the islands, finding time to unwind and go with the flow while also seeing some of the main attractions such as Whitehaven, a stopover at Hamilton Island and perhaps hiking to one of the spectacular views.
Consider the weather: Weather is always a factor with any holiday involving the ocean. As a result, it’s worth considering that the more nights you book, the more you can allow for the odd day where the weather or wind may restrict your plans.
While the weather is generally picture-perfect in the Whitsundays, if you do come across some unusual weather, there is still plenty to keep you entertained among the islands. See this blog post on what to do if the weather isn’t perfect during your sailing holiday.
Our Shute Harbour base saves you time
It’s worth mentioning that one of the advantages to chartering with Whitsunday Rent a Yacht is our base at Shute Harbour is much closer to the islands, up to 2 hours closer in fact. You will save travel time to and from the islands – something those travelling with limited time find particularly attractive.
Type of boat
Whitsunday Rent a Yacht fleet has a boat to cater to all budgets.
Catamarans generally cost more to hire than monohulls. For those sailing as a group and wanting lower per head cost, consider looking at our monohulls with large sleeping capacities.
Learn about the pros and cons of hiring a catamaran compared to a monohull on our blog.
Additional & optional private yacht charter costs
Fuel is an additional cost on top of a bareboat hire. All boats come with full fuel tanks, upon your return, we will re-fill the tanks and charge for fuel used.
As a guide, we suggest allowing $30 – $45 per day for monohulls/yachts and $45 – $90 per day for catamarans.
If you’re keen to keep the motor off and sail your way around the islands, your fuels costs will be much lower.
All snorkelling gear is free of charge, so make sure you grab your fins, mask and snorkel from our dock before you head out.
Additional equipment hire is optional. Kayaks and SUPS can be hired from $15 per day through the Rent a Yacht office and loaded to your vessel before arrival.
Stinger suits can be hired for $6 per night through Rent a Yacht.
For those wishing to hire fishing equipment, get in touch with Airlie Bait & Tackle (07 49 466 632) for a quote, and to request equipment delivery.
To hire scuba diving equipment, get in touch with Aqua Dive (07 4946 4074) for a quote, and to arrange a fitting / pick up.
When you hire a yacht with Whitsundays Rent a Yacht, you have the option to hire a fully qualified sail guide to accompany you on your charter. Guides can join you for one night or the duration of your trip; it’s up to you.
Guides cost $400 per day.
In rare circumstances, after the training session, the briefer may say that a novice guest must take a guide for one night to ensure they are safe using the boat. If a briefer makes this recommendation, a guide is not optional.
Resort marina & mooring fees
It’s possible to stop over at some of the island resorts while on a yacht charter in the Whitsundays. Each resort has associated fees with using their moorings or berthing at their marinas. Some resorts require you to book accommodation, even when visiting on a bareboat.
The most popular resort stopover for yacht charters is the Hamilton Island Marina. The costs of one night at Hamilton Island is $160 (monohull) $210 (catamaran); This gives you access to the resort pools and facilities as well as the opportunity to stock up on supplies, have a spa or go out to dinner.
Guests need to arrange personal supplies when chartering a bareboat in the Whitsundays. It’s simple to shop and stock in at Airlie Beach or Cannonvale before departure.
There are several provisioning companies in Airlie Beach that deliver pre-arranged supplies to your boat. Provisioning companies can arrange a welcome seafood platter, beverages, and pre-packaged daily meals as well as any shopping for personal supplies.
See this list to learn about what comes with your bareboat.
Marine Park Fee
Every person who enters the Whitsunday Islands National park needs to pay a marine park fee. The cost is $34 per person per trip. We arrange this for you when confirming your booking.
For more information on Marine Park Fees and why we have them, visit the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority website
Private travel insurance is optional; however, it is something we recommend all of our guests arrange before their charter. You can chat with our sales team about insurance providers when making your booking or head to our insurance page for an overview.
If you have a car or caravan you need to park while you’re on charter there are several options available.
Parking is available at the outdoor council car park near our office, this is paid for on the EasyPark app or at the machines in the carpark (from $8 per day).
There are several secure parking options available for cars, caravans and vans when you charter with Whitsunday Rent a Yacht.
- Park the van and car with Whitsunday Parking in their undercover, secure storage. They offer valet pick-up service from our base at Shute Harbour and will have your vehicle waiting for you when you return.
- Store your van with a local Caravan Park (check with the park you are intending to stay with before or after charter for storage options)
Vessel delivery to Hamilton Island
Some guests choose to fly into Hamilton Island, avoiding a trip the mainland altogether! Starting a charter from Hamilton Island can be a great way to take advantage of discounted flights and avoid transport fees to Airlie Beach.
We can deliver your vessel to the Hamilton Island Marina for a fee, meet you there and begin your training before you’re free to set sail. We can also pick vessels up from Hamilton Island.
Common Fee and Booking Questions
How can I get the best yacht charter deal?
If you are looking to sail the Whitsundays in the most cost-effective way, consider the following.
- Hire a monohull
- Book in the low season (mid Jan – end of March)
- Book with a group of friends
- Book a sleep-aboard the night before you want to charter. For an additional $220 to $500 you can stay on your boat at our private jetty in Shute, and you’ll be able to start your briefing earlier.
What do we have to pay to lock in our booking?
When you’ve booked well in advance, you need to pay a $750 deposit to secure your booking. We ask that the balance of your vessel’s fee is paid 70 days (10 weeks) prior to the charter.
If you have made your booking within the 70 days before your charter, you must pay your booking in full.
Are fees refundable?
The deposit is not refundable – a partial refund of the balance may be available, depending on how far in advance the cancellation is made (see terms).
Does Whitsunday Rent a Yacht ever have sales or offer free night deals?
We occasionally get asked if we ever do “free night deals” such as pay seven stay five or offer sales at certain times of the year.
We have recently decided to stay away from gimmicks; instead, we’ve spent hours working our rates to reflect the best, most reasonable prices for each boat and the season. Our rates are based on the exact duration of the charter you want, for example, you are not forced to pay for seven nights when you only want five.
Our focus is on providing you with quality service and a fantastic experience while also making decisions that ensure the survival of jobs and our small business.
We endeavour to be as transparent and straightforward as possible in everything we do. Rent a Yacht hasn’t inflated our prices so we can then offer a discount. And we aren’t prepared to sacrifice our guest’s experience and safety by chasing the bottom dollar.
Our competitive rates reflect the quality services we provide, the excellence of our boats and the unique advantages our Shute Harbour location offers.
If you are interested in getting an immediate quote to charter a yacht in the Whitsundays, please head to our website’s online booking form. Alternatively, you can call our friendly staff, who are always happy to talk through rates and how we can accommodate our guests.